HHS launches initiative to track physician use and burdens of health IT

Sept. 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has launched an initiative to measure health information technology (health IT) use among office-based physicians across the country. 

The HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded a cooperative agreement to the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) to measure the use and potential burdens experienced by office-based physicians. The results of the effort will provide ONC with national-level data on how office-based physicians use health IT, including key measures on interoperability and burden. 

This effort builds on prior research that found, in 2017, approximately 80 percent of office-based physicians used a certified electronic health record (EHR), but only one in ten of those physicians reported that they were able to electronically send, receive, find, and integrate health data from EHRs outside of their networks. Under the three-year cooperative agreement, the American Board of Family Medicine will: 

·        Develop key measures related to health IT use and the interoperability of health information,

·         Collect data from a nationally representative sample of office-based physicians to support national level progress, and

·         Collaborate with ONC on the analysis and interpretation of the survey results. 

ONC expects the data will help identify disparities or unintended consequences due to the use of health IT and the impacts of federal health IT policies to guide future policy decisions. 

HHS has the release